Mission and Vision
The aim of the Help Ghana foundation is to improve the living conditions of vulnerable groups of people in Ghanaian society. To that extent the foundation supports projects in the field of health care, education and income generating initiatives. The foundation is focused on achieving economic and social independence with its beneficiaries and tries to identify those projects that are carried by the local population. Women and girls form our largest target group, since women in Ghana are the main caretakers of the households and the children.
Projects are submitted to us on the initiative of local people in Ghana. The request is usually supported by local NGOs or well-known local contact persons that are recognizable as relevant community agents.
All projects must be supported by the local community for which it is intended. These communities also contribute in the form of labour, land and/or raw materials. Because inclusivity is important to the foundation, only local organizations that are open to people of all religions, gender, social status or background are supported.
Only small-scale projects up to a maximum of € 2,000 are approved, so that we are able to help several communities each year with the support of our donors and sponsors. If at all possible, the money is used to purchase all materials/products in Ghana itself. This way donations also support local small enterprises.
To learn more about the vision of the Help Ghana Foundation please have a look at our policy plan.
The Help Ghana Foundation was established in 1983 by Joke Addotey-Van Heeswijk. During her frequent visits to Ghana with her Ghanaian husband, she was confronted with the daily life of the underprivileged in Ghana. In the years that followed she was able to raise funds for a large number of projects.
As Joke decided to step down after dedicating most of her life to this work, positions in the Board were taken up by ex-volunteers who have prolonged experience in development work, in Ghana and other countries. This way there is enough know-how and experience to be able to conduct these activities with integrity. Also there is a trustworthy network of local representatives and experts, who have an advisory role and frequently monitor the projects.
The Help Ghana Foundation is able to support several projects in Ghana each year thanks to our many individual donors. In addition to these private donors, there are also foundations, organizations and companies that support Help Ghana financially.
Without the support of all of them, the Help Ghana Foundation would not have a right to exist and many people in Ghana would have been deprived of what are sometimes essential basic needs. The board of Help Ghana would like to thank all those who have supported the foundation in any way!
The Board of the Help Ghana Foundation currently exists of 4 board members, who all have lived and worked in Ghana as volunteers or have other work experience in Africa.
Current Board members:
- Chairman: Iede Koffeman, Trainer/coach team development & change management
- Vice-chairman: Hans de Bekker, Anthropologist Researcher at InHolland University, in memoriam
- Secretary & Bursar: Viola Stoppels, Owner Springstaff Recruitment Services
- Project coordinator: Ellen Vianen: Senior Behavioural expert PPO Rotterdam
- Webmaster: Bilge Mühüdaroğlu, Photography & 3D designer
We work together with our Ghanaian contacts, Emmanuel Kwesi Nkrumah in Adawso and Kingsley Kwame Safo, who we have known for over fifteen years. They support us with the necessary advice on cultural and local matters and they visit our projects regularly.
The board meets approximately every six weeks either online or at the home of one of the board members. It is our goal that every other year at least two board members travel to Ghana to meet up with our contacts and to visit the project sites.
Because the board members are doing their work voluntarily and pay for all their own travel expenses and other costs, more than 95% of the collected funds is available to the projects in Ghana.
Please feel free to contact the Board if you would like more information on the Help Ghana Foundation, our activities, sponsoring, projects and/or life in Ghana in general.
When an application is submitted to Help Ghana, the Board checks whether the project meets the criteria set by the foundation. Subsequently, the applicants are sent a questionnaire with questions about the purpose, size, their own contribution, possible co-financiers, references from the (local) government agencies, and a detailed budget. Our local contact person then contacts and/or visits the project to assess the application. Based on this information, the Board decides whether a project will be supported.
Our Ghanaian contact person discusses planning and responsibilities with the local organization in advance, after which a cooperation agreement is signed. During the implementation, our contact person visits the project to discuss progress and possible bottlenecks. In addition, halfway through the execution of the project and after completion the Board will receive a report from both the project leaders and our contact person, which is discussed in the board meeting.
The Help Ghana Foundation has an official ANBI (Public Benefit Organisation) status for the tax authorities. To keep our administrative costs as low as possible, we have decided not to opt for a CBF quality mark. This way we keep the percentage of the donation money that benefits the projects in Ghana as high as possible.
The Help Ghana board consists of volunteers who carry out their work unpaid. There is therefore no remuneration structure. Projects in Ghana are visited whenever possible by a delegation of at least two board members traveling to Ghana every other year, again at their own expense.
The progress of the projects is published via the website and various social media. Individual reports are made to project sponsors. For institutional sponsors (e.g. Wilde Ganzen) we follow procedures established by them.
Feedback to donors about spending is done via an annual newsletter. It briefly describes the progress of the projects, possibly with photos. Our local contact person visits the projects and ensures that the feedback meets the information need.
A financial annual review is published yearly. The expenditure per project is available on request. The foundation’s tax number is 816170368.
To learn more about the vision of the Help Ghana Foundation you can have a look at our policy plan.